It is March of 1944. Lad and Marian are in Pomona, California. Lad is an Instructor of Vehicle and Diesel Engine Maintenance. Dan id in London working as a surveyor and Map Maker in preparation for D-Day. Ced remains in Anchorage, Alaska, working for Woodley Air Field, which has been taken over by the Army, as an airplane mechanic and Bush Pilot. Dick is in Sataliza, Brazil, acting as liaison between the local employees and the Army and Dave is at Camp Crowder, Missouri, receiving further training before being sent overseas.
Dear Dad –
While I’m basking in the California sunshine, (not the liquid variety !) and trying to dry my hair, I thought I’d better catch up on my letter writing to the members of the family on the East Coast. I received a notice from the post office at Hooks (Texas, where they were just staying before Lad was transferred back to California) saying that there was a package there for me, so I hurriedly dispatched the few stamps needed to have it sent out here to California. It should arrive any day now, and my curiosity is aroused as to what it might contain.
I can very readily sympathize with you, Dad, when you try to buy any sort of a gift for these “G.I. Caballeros”. It is awfully hard, I know, ‘cause there is so very little that they can use, and what they can use they can usually get right on the Post. With Lad’s birthday coming up, I am in a dither. Of course, I might hold out on the sweater that I’ve knit? Knitted? Nuts! – finished for him, but as it was sort of promised to him when I reached Texarkana – and then as a Valentine gift – I guess I’d better hand it over pronto, or he’ll begin to doubt my word! If I’m right here with him and don’t know what to get him, I can just imagine what you must be trying to think of when you can’t even see him. But I assure you it wouldn’t do any good so far as gifts are concerned. He has no ideas on the subject, so is none too helpful on that score.
As a passing thought, you asked when my birthday was. It is November 11th – almost the same as our anniversary – so what a wonderful present I received last year – and being three days late made absolutely no difference. US Mails (and males) are unpredictable these days, anyway!
Did I tell you that we received a perfectly delightful letter from Dan, dated February 9th – in which he reveals a certain family dispute over one box of cigars which we neglected to label at Christmas time. I know both you and Aunt Betty will appreciate the letter so I’m enclosing it with this letter. Wish we could see your expression when you read it! (More on this subject in Grandpa’s letter which I will be posting on Wednesday)
Lad had an unexpected holiday yesterday so we went into Pasadena, took care of a couple of business matters – stopped by the Hospitality Center in South Pasadena to say “Hello” and then went in to LA for dinner. These spur of the moment holidays are one of the many reasons why I’m glad I’m not working at a steady job, ‘cause I can go right along with him at a moment’s notice – and it’s always fun.
I am working two or three days a week at a department store, and altho’ I’ve never done this type of work before, I find it lots of fun and just enough work to keep me out of mischief.
My love to all –
Just a note to let you know that I’m still able to keep going. In your “Universal” letter of February 27th you gave Dan’s serial number wrong. It should have been 31 – etc. instead of 13 – as you wrote. Got a letter from Dave yesterday and he really seems to be enjoying the Army. I’m glad. Well – toodle-oooooo, and love to all. Laddie
Tomorrow, a letter from Alta and Arnold Gibson (Gibby – Lad’s best friend from Trumbull) to Ced.